Clacton: Town man sentenced after officers found cocaine in his car boot
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A Clacton man arrested after police found drugs in his car boot during last year’s Clacton Airshow has been given a suspended jail sentence.
Officers initially noticed Benjamin Hill, 41, because of his driving and decided to speak to him.
On Friday 8 September at Chelmsford Crown Court, Hill received a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years. He had previously admitted possession with intent to supply cocaine.
Hill’s was the only arrest associated with last year’s Clacton Airshow as our officers worked with staff from partner agencies to ensure it was a safe and secure event for more than 210,000 visitors who flocked to the town over two days.
As well as the suspended jail term, Hill, of Harold Road, Clacton, was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, 30 days of rehabilitation activity, to attend a mental health programme for 12 months, an alcohol treatment programme for six months and to pay a victim surcharge.
Officers on patrol spotted Hill in a car in Old Road on the morning of Friday 26 August 2022. Because of his driving, they returned to where he had parked the car. They found it unattended, with both front windows open.
They looked inside and saw a small bag of white powder. When Hill reappeared, he was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine.
After being asked whether there were any more drugs in the vehicle, Hill directed officers to a suitcase in his car boot. Inside was a plastic tub containing a block of white powder. A search of his vehicle revealed £180 cash, scales with remnants of white powder and a notebook. Two phones were also seized and found to have messages relating to drug sales.
In custody, Hill told officers he’d been dog sitting at a friend’s house. A search of that house led to officers recovering £290 in cash, sets of scales and containers containing residual white powder, a computer and multiple packets of sildenafil jelly.
At Hill’s home address, officers also recovered a quantity of white tablets found in a safe, vials of an androgen and anabolic steroid medication, some ‘deal’ bags plus a white plate and a driving licence on which there were remnants of white power.
Altogether, the value of the drugs recovered from Hill’s car and the two properties totalled approximately £10,000.
Investigating officer PC Ryan Gilroy says:
“Drugs and drug dealers cause a great deal of harm and not only to those who use them. Drug dealers will prey on the vulnerable and slowly destroy families and the community. They are both associated with violence and misery. “But, I hope Hill will take the chance he has been given to turn his life around.”
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The trade in illegal drugs is inextricably linked to violence. The proceeds from such drugs lead to more criminal activity which, in turn, leads to fear and misery for vulnerable people and also affects whole communities.
We won't tolerate people exploiting the vulnerable in our communities. But we can’t do this without your help – if you believe someone is involved in drugs, please report it to us.